Frenchman Laurent Pellier is to make his debut as a factory PEUGEOT SPORT driver in the colours of the PEUGEOT Rally Academy driving a PEUGEOT 208 T16 in the Under-28 class of the 2018 FIA European Rally Championship (FIA ERC) when the opening round gets under way later today in Portugal.

At the age of just 22, Laurent Pellier is making his FIA ERC debut this weekend in the competition’s Under-28 class, a stepping stone for the sport’s upcoming youngsters to WRC action.
Laurent Pellier’s reward for winning the 2017 208 Rally Cup (the PEUGEOT one-make series organised within the framework of the French Rally Championship) is a top-class programme as a factory PEUGEOT SPORT driver in a four-wheel drive PEUGEOT 208 T16 run by a professional team, the PEUGEOT Rally Academy.
The French youngster, who hails from the northern French Alps, got his first taste of this international series in 2017 thanks to Eurosport’s ERC Junior Experience programme which is attended every season by the best-placed Junior driver in the 208 Rally Cup. The course, which comprised three training sessions, allowed him to perfect his recce and pacenote-taking techniques, as well as to benefit from professional media training tips. This season, the objective of Laurent Pellier and his co-driver Geoffrey Combe is to gain experience while targeting the best possible results.
The opening round of the 2018 FIA ERC takes teams to Portugal’s Acores Islands for the Azores Airlines Rallye (March 22-24) which features 15 gravel stages totalling 207.44 kilometres.
Laurent Pellier (Driver, PEUGEOT Rally Academy):
“I am thrilled to be here in the Acores for my first international appearance with PEUGEOT SPORT at my side. In 2017, I picked up a great deal of experience participating in the 208 RALLY CUP which helped me to hone my driving skills thanks to a mixed calendar of asphalt and gravel rallies. My apprenticeship is now poised to continue at ERC level. At the beginning of March, I got my first taste of driving a four-wheel drive car when I tested the PEUGEOT 208T16. I’ve had to adapt my technique and put the reflexes I developed in the PEUGEOT 208R2 to the back of my mind, but the 208T16 is great to drive. The test also gave me a chance to work with my new co-driver Geoffrey Combe for the first time. He’s experienced and fully committed to our programme, so I’m really pleased that we are setting out on this new adventure with PEUGEOT SPORT together. I am really fortunate to have such a top-class programme this season and PEUGEOT SPORT’s investment will allow me to gain international experience in a first class working environment.”
Laurent Guyot (Customer Competition Programmes Manager, PEUGEOT SPORT):
“We’re delighted to be starting another season with the PEUGEOT Rally Academy and a programme based on the FIA ERC which fits well with both our past and our objectives. The Azores Rallye is a tough event, with unique stages where grip levels are particularly unpredictable. This year, the PEUGEOT Rally Academy is running Laurent Pellier. We obviously know him already since he won our one-make rally series in 2017. We will do everything we can to help him find his marks quickly and provide the best framework for him to showcase his ability.”
1 – Download the WhatsApp application on your smartphone
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Audrey Zachayus: / +33 6 29 54 75 73
Customer Competition Communication Officer, PEUGEOT SPORT:
Etienne Devierre: / +33 6 64 82 27 38